Monday, July 27, 2015

The Not So Nice Side Of The Craft Industry...

Hi folks...I've thought long and hard about writing this post but you know me when I'm fired up about something...the lid's got to blow.  I've worked for many years in the craft industry...met wonderful generous people only too willing to share their talent and inspiration with us all...made life-long friendships and had the privilege of working with great companies but believe me it's not all sweetness and light and sometimes the not so nice side of the industry rears it's ugly head.
I was incensed when I read on Facebook that a UK craft company who advertise themselves as innovative and inspirational had launched a new series of dies on Create and Craft over the weekend...
and you don't need to be a rocket scientist or need a magnifying glass to see that this is a blantant copy of the fabulous Accordion Card Concept designed by the lovely and very talented Karen Burniston. Crafters have been creating accordion cards forever...the old fashioned way with a craft knife and mat but Karen was the one who put all the hard work in to creating a unique system making the concept work using dies.  I'm absolutely disgusted at this disrespectful violation of Karen's rights as an artist...whatever happened to integrity...moral scruples and ethical business practice...has the need to make loads of money become more important than decent honest values...I sincerely hope not or we're all doomed. Sadly this practice is not unknown in the industry...it's not illegal apparently but neither is it right or ethical to jump on the bandwagon and make a fast buck off the hard work of talented artists by taking their concept...making a few tweeks and passing it off as your own.

I'm ashamed that a UK company would behave in such a despicable manner but we...the customers have the power to put a stop to this...I can't tell you where to spend your crafty pennies...I can only ask you to think twice...go with your conscience...do what's right and buy the original dies...sending a message to companies that we don't want this kind of behaviour associated with the wonderful hobby we all love.
I'll leave you with a quote from my lovely buddy Paula
"If we don't stand publicly for the principles that are closest to our hearts
what's the point of having any principles at all"
See you all tomorrow with a happier post
Hugs Kath xxx

51 comments:

Betty Keefe said...

thanks Kath - i second the motion!!

Aunty Sue said...

Thought the same when I saw them.

Jennie Black said...

So sorry this happened to another fine creator. They will repeat it again and again

Barbara said...

You're absolutely right. It's all about greed and money at times and we as consumers must surely take a stand! Thanks for the "heads-up" on this!

judkajudi said...

A standing ovation for speaking out on this, Kath. I hope this isn't a woman doing this to another woman.. That would make this even worse in my opinion.

suzieq23 said...

I agree with you 100% Kath, but I see the same products from company to company all the time. I dont understand it, but it seems to be the practice. there are a lot of companies that reproduce others' products at a cheaper price. Here in the USA we have Michael's Craft Store. They have a line called Recollections. They have just about everything out there for a cheaper price. There should be a law but I guess that is what they call free enterprise?

Karen B said...

Kath, I am absolutely touched by the outpouring of support and I thank you for it. I am choosing to just keep moving forward with my own designs and focus on doing what I love to do. I have lots of ideas - could use some more hours in my day to accomplish them, but no shortage of ideas. :) Mad props to Elizabeth Craft Designs (2014 to present) and to Sizzix (2009-2013) for properly licensing my die designs and paying royalties, though. Companies always have choices in their business practices and I personally admire some choices more than others. I also admire people like you, so thank you!

Jane Willis said...

What happened to the laws of copyright and intellectual property? Do they not apply in cases like this? Although I suppose legal action is expensive and companies feel it's "worth" ignoring the rules safe in the knowledge that only the wealthiest of people could afford to mount a legal challenge. But what will it cost them in lost loyalty?

Jane

Buttons said...

Here here Kath. Unfortunately too many crafters buy things simply because they've 'been on the telly' with no thought to the consequence of such actions. Then again, why should they? They are fed a line that the products on offer are something 'unique' and 'exclusive' by people with no moral compass, and willingly hand over large amounts of hard earned cash to people who should know better (but clearly don't). Sadly there is a very nasty side to the craft industry, though thankfully most people don't get to see it a lot of the time. Well done to you and Paula for taking a stand against this. Jenny

Jane said...

Gosh I am so surprised Kath that designs can't be copyrighted? I own Karen's accordian die and I still find it a joy to use.It has always had that @wow@ effect. Thanks for publicising this xx

Virginia Lu said...

Thank you, Kath, for sharing this issue with us....the consumers are not aware of these things most of the time, they just buy whatever LOOKS good and choose to pay cheaper price if they can. Thanks to you, we can be more aware of this not-so-common bad practice. You said it so well and eloquently, thank you!

Redanne said...

Well done to you and Paula for taking a stand Kath! It really saddens me that this kind of thing happens in the craft world, it is not always the honest, decent and respectful community that it should be.

Karen Burniston is a very talented, lovely and dedicated lady who has worked incredibly hard on the 'accordion' concept and is continually bringing out additions to her wonderful range of Accordion Dies. I have used Karen's dies since she first brought them out (in fact watch out for Friday!) and will continue to do so and give credit where it is due - cheap imitations have no place in my craft room!!

Hugs, Anne xx

Ann said...

Well said Kath & thanks to Paula for flagging up the blatant & despicable practise of such a well known UK company to be so underhanded & deceitful in their mission to make more money. I own a few of Karens dies & love them. I too am so sick that as someone previously commented people will buy these dies as they are on tv. I applaud both you & Paula for naming & shaming & making the ordinary crafter aware of this. Many Thanks & hugs Ann xx

Deb Jones said...

Well said, Kate. Too many 'big' companies are copying designs and claiming them as the new 'never been seen before' range. Well done for standing up.

playingwithpaper said...

There has been more than a few ideas pinched, borrowed & outright ripped off in the crafting world that sadly this doesnt even have me raising my eyebrows. Copyright protection for products is a joke really these days, even getting a patent can just end up being a case of who can afford the best lawyers. Only way to stop this is for people to boycott with their wallets but too few will. I've refused to buy products branded by this company and a couple of others for several years, hasnt done much good yet tho lol.

Marianne's Craftroom said...

Well said Kath, disgusting behaviour from a company only interested in making money

misteejay said...

I rarely watch the TV craft channel in question because I have long been fed up with being sold the line "New & Exclusive" when I have had the same sort of product for years. Unfortunately, many new crafters have not had access to b&m stores so rely very much on what they see on TV & in magazines. The TV companies are very selective about which brands they promote so many folk never get to hear about some of the wonderful stuff that is & has been available to crafters.
Thank you Kath for highlighting a product being promoted at another designers expense.
Toni xx

karen said...

I totally agree. Have left several comments on the FB page of the so called reputable and innovative (!) company. Really disappointed as this is so blatant and to put it on the telly makes it much worse. I have heard that the company involved took somebody else to court for copying one of their designs - what a joke !!!!!! Hope they get their comeuppance and I for one will not use any of their products - don't have any anyway. Rant over.

Barbara said...

It's very sad that small designers/companies can fully compete with larger companies for innovation & brilliant ideas, but simply can't compete with court costs etc, thus preventing them from protecting their individual ideas. :-(

Julie said...

Thank you for highlighting this Kath, so sad to hear of rip-offs like this, as you say, it makes you feel for the designer who originally did all the hard work. I won't buy from this company now (not that I did much) and am off to find Karen's original dies!

PeeJay said...

... and this is from somebody who heads a company that produced the 'enveloper' many years ago and threatened an eBay seller with legal action when they produced a wooden design of an envelope maker. Not only did they threaten legal action (there was a patent pending at the time) they also wanted a certain amount of money based on the number of items that seller had sold due to 'lost revenue' on their 'idea'. Double standards, big time, methinks!

Net said...

So NOT surprised by this.

Moira said...

It's not the first time they have ripped off other people's ideas seems to be their business model I won't buy from them on principal and never have done so glad someone is speaking up about this

Patricia Littlejohns said...

This makes so angry. I have seen many dies that look so close to the originals in the past. I always buy the authentic die and yes, I do like to save my money where I can. But that can often be achieved by searching the net and finding a special offer on by a company. You, and everyone else that obiects to this blatant attack on the origanal designers should be applauded. I hope theyve wasted their money in copyiny them.

Patricia Littlejohns said...

This makes so angry. I have seen many dies that look so close to the originals in the past. I always buy the authentic die and yes, I do like to save my money where I can. But that can often be achieved by searching the net and finding a special offer on by a company. You, and everyone else that obiects to this blatant attack on the origanal designers should be applauded. I hope theyve wasted their money in copyiny them.

Liz said...

Thanks for highlighting this. Disgraceful! I've got the Sizzix accordian die and assumed these new dies were by the same designer.

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

We are all inspired by fellow crafter's but this really saddens me. How can you copy a fellow designers design and concept that they have worked so long to achieve. Morals and treating people the way you expect to be treated are very important in business, if you have no morals well there is no hope. To pass a product off as your own is disrespectful, bad practice, bad business and not ethical; to make money from someone elses idea is a disgrace. I have always purchased Karen's dies from the beginning and adore the quality and concept; we need to stand by our designers and support them in any way we can; companies should also do the same. This is a shameful action from a UK business; having double standards, something we should never be proud of. We should protect and support all designers, its a privelege to use their products. I am utterfly disgusted by this action and find it so hard to believe that nothing can be done and that someone can make money off someone elses idea. Thankfully Karen has lots and lots more ideas, as an original artist always does. This company will never be able to compete with that and have their own unique ideas and they will lose out in the end. What do they say.... what goes around, comes around!!!!!!! Tracy x x x

Bejay Roles said...

Kath, I'm truly disgusted and want to hop on a train to come up to you to give you a HUGE hug for bringing this to light. This from a company that prides itself on 'family values' to run its business. I feel dirty to think that I have bought things from them in the past. I for one, will not be buying from them again.
I'm holding my head in shame to say that I've not seen Karen's dies but I'm going to do a search and will save up to get some for my collection.
Thanks once again for venting about this, Kath. I'm glad that you did. I have to say that I do not watch C&C any more as I think they are vastly over-priced and I think that their 'wonderful' club is a rip off, especially the way they tell you that they will credit your account with £10 when you join...don't people realise that it's their money in the first place so they aren't getting anything for noting. I would rather hunt the internet for my supplies. Sadly I live in Cornwall, which seems to be a desert as far as crafting is concerned as it seems that the industry thinks that the country ends at the Tamar bridge as we never get exhibitions down here and there are no 'good' crafting shops or clubs to be found.
Keep up the good work, Kath, I love reading your daily blog. x

Janette said...

Right behind you Kath, a damn disgrace, this should NEVER happen....thanks for speaking up...they should be ashamed, and no one should spend a penny with them.

Something Special said...

Well said Kath but this is just one example of an artist's talent being hijacked. Nevertheless I applaud you in publically shaming this company.

Karen Petitt said...

This is so not on. I hope the company fesses up and gives credit and money were it is due. This seems to be constantly happening in companies and with other crafters and there is not much we can do about it, other than boycott. It's completely out of order. Well done to you and Paula for calling them on it Karen

ursula said...

I really would of thought a reputable company such as this would not stoop to this extent and blatantly steal someone else's idea. They have the money so do not care, I guess that is the attitude...I am sorry for Karen, but she does have a large majority standing up for her....Great of you highlighting this Kath....maybe they will cower under the table for 5 mins....that's how much they care.....

Brenda in IN said...

Good for you, Kath. I don't know when money became the bottom line over truth and integrity. This is not a company I've heard of but thanks for speaking up.

Sandra said...

Well said Kath. I love the original accordion die from Karen, always makes a special card.

Stamps and Paper said...

Well done for speaking up Kath and I totally agress with everything you say....I got fed up with C&C ages ago...

Anne

Jan Sharp said...

Well done for letting us all know, Kath. I often see products that are very similar, but not knowing the industry as you do, I wonder whose was the original idea. Therre are a couple of companies I avoid because I'm not sure so I'm really pleased to have found out this time!!
Thank you Jan

rachel said...

great to read this Kath - I thought exactly the same when I saw them xx

OceanLover said...

Just as an aside, the marketing efforts of this despicable company in the US are touted as "family oriented" and worded to that effect. Considering that they bombard you non-stop with emails for their next big thing, I'd hate to be in their family! The prices for their goods are very high and selection limited at best. Have never bought from them and now, never will.

Kazbomps said...

Thanks for this information Kath. I have just purchased some of Karens dies rather than the other companies. There seems to be a lot of this in the craft world which is a shame x

Julia Dunnit said...

Good for you Kath...these things need saying. As a consumer I don't like the idea that these companies think that I'll just roll over because its convenient.

Roz Walters said...

Nothing surprises me from this company. So many times we in the UK have seen items that C & C and its satellites have ripped off from others.

CraftyWeeMee said...

I have to admit that as soon as I saw the Crafter's Companion Die'sire accordion dies my first thought was "I wonder if Karen Burniston knows about these rip offs!". It's sad that some companies have to sink so low as to so blatantly plagiarise someone else's hard work. I won't be buying any, I have my Karen Burniston original dies to play with and am more than happy with them.

I'm glad to hear that Karen is rising above this and look forward to seeing her new and original designs in the (hopefully) not too distant future!

Elaine Hughes said...

You're not wrong about the ugly side, Kath. Not at all surprised by this, sadly. Not a company I have ever been overly impressed by.

On the plus side, your post has reminded me that I wanted to pick up some of Karen's dies. ;)

Rosietoes said...

I am so glad you have had the courage to speak out Kath. I have some of Karen's accordion dies both Sizzix and Elizabeth Crafts and I was astonished to see these being introduced over the week end. I wondered if Karen knew about them. It's just disgraceful. I'm lost for words.

Annie said...

It really is the nasty side of the business Kath and hats off to you and Paula for speaking out xx
Think we have seen all sorts of copying from rubber stamps to ephemera over the years....there are so many companies whose products look similar to those of another, which is so wrong. Customer choice is the only way to stamp it out !!

Huge Annie x

Lisa H said...

Go Kath!!

Brenda Brown said...

Totally with you 100% Kath as it's happened in my family too, many years ago. I won't buy products I know were made by a different designer, thanks for highlighting it and I hope C&C know what they are doing. It's not good press for them either. xxxx

CraftyWeeMee said...

On the Crafter's Companion Facebook page they're asking:

"Have you been watching Leann Chivers and Fiona Clayton - Crafter's Companionon Create & Craft TV? Which Accordion dies is your favourite?"

There are quite a few, including my own, telling them Karen Burniston's originals!

Deborah Nolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Nolan said...

I agree, Kath, and thank you for putting it out there! (I deleted my original comment because I misspelled your name - it's almost 3 AM and my brain has left the building - lol)!

Lesley Dickson said...

This is really scandalous! I was rummaging about on YouTube watching some of Karen's videos when I came across Leanne demoing the Crafter's Companion dies. I couldn't believe they would have the brass neck to copy such a unique idea and thought that their dies must have been designed by Karen.Then I found your blog post.

This is quite different in my opinion from the usual copying that goes on in the craft industry. No one should have the copyright on a scalloped square or a picture of an owl for instance but this appears to be a blatant appropriation of someone else's invention.

I am appalled and will never buy another thing from Crafters Companion!

Rant over.

Lesley

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